Local RTOERO district supports pilot to bring laughs to seniors

Provided by District 25 Stormont Dundas Glengarry of RTOERO
Local RTOERO district supports pilot to bring laughs to seniors
(Photo : Stock photo)

A pilot project to bring joy and the benefits of laughter to seniors received a $4,000 grant from District 25 Stormont Dundas Glengarry of RTOERO. This funding has gone to the Association canadienne-française de l’Ontario (ACFO SDG) for their Juste pour Séniors: LOL-Mort de rire project (Just for Seniors: Laugh Out Loud).

The District 25 funding is part of RTOERO’s annual community grants program. Since 1968, RTOERO has been a voice for teachers, school and board administrators, educational support staff and college and university faculty and staff in their retirement.

Our mission is to improve the lives of our members and seniors. RTOERO members also share a desire to give back. Each year, districts apply for grants to support community projects. For 2022, RTOERO funded 22 projects for a total of $87,471.

For two years, seniors and youth have been terribly affected by the pandemic. Virtual activities have helped relieve their individual isolation, but have also separated the generations. Juste pour Séniors is designed as a constructive intergenerational project.

It includes four main activities: comedy orientation workshops; a comedy training session; individualized coaching from a comedy professional; and set performances and mini-shows to take place in 2023, virtually or in seniors centres and residences.

“The program is a chance to bring generations together and laugh at life,” says Delores Biddy, President, District 25 Stormont Dundas Glengarry, RTOERO. “Participants can also reap the rewards of laugher, including better stress and anxiety management, memory stimulation, and positive effects on blood circulation and endorphin levels.”

Since the inception of the community grants program 22 years ago, RTOERO has donated $1.9 million to more than 525 programs and projects. A committee of RTOERO members assesses the merits of each grant submission.

“Across Ontario, grassroots actions can stitch a community together. Seniors, children, the most vulnerable and the environment alike can all use support. That’s the idea behind the grants program, whose impact is felt widely,” says Martha Foster, chair of the board at RTOERO. “Our members care about their communities, and in partnership with great organizations that translates into action on the ground. We believe in a better future, together.”

District 25 plays a key role in helping members stay active and connected, with each other and the community.

RTOERO is a bilingual trusted voice on healthy, active living in the retirement journey for the broader education community. With 82,000+ members in 51 districts across Canada, we are the largest national provider of non-profit group health benefits for education retirees.

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